Not exactly ultra-high priority, but given that in French you're supposed to put non-breaking spaces before some punctuation (: ; ? !), what are we going to do about it?

  • Type them in manually?
  • Ask the devs for 'something' (like Ctrl-Shift-Space in Word)?

(Sandbox: just checking to see if nbsp's get eaten)

Afterthought What about 'French quotes' (« ») too?

Related question on main meta:

UPDATE I've rolled a user-script to convert Ctrl-spaces to non-break-spaces, and it now also converts " to « or » (alternately).


5 Answers 5


It might be very useful if the devs could add a button to the WYSIWYG bar in the editor to typeset quotes (and maybe accents for some people on qwerty keyboards?).

  • Is there a way to get these quotes on a US Qwerty keyboard? E.g. using the US-International keyboard setting you can get things like é á ç by typing ' + letter. Is there a similar way easy way to get the French quotes? Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 14:33
  • Never mind it is Right Alt + [ or ] to get « and ». We might need a FAQ for this. Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 14:35
  • @Bryan, doesn't work on my UK keyboard :(
    – Benjol
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 18:12
  • On my MacBook Pro, right alt + backslash gives « , and I can't find anything that gets me » (which I just copied and pasted from @Bryan's comment). (Really? I can't put a backslash in this style?!)
    – hairboat
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 2:24
  • 1
    @Abby - try adding shift to make it alt-shift-backslash. (And the alt key is usually called option, I believe.) If that doesn't work, or to find other characters, launch the Keyboard Viewer and you should be able to find the right key combination (hit command, option,... to see the characters change)
    – Joubarc
    Commented Aug 30, 2011 at 19:29
  • @Joubarc - got it, thanks!
    – hairboat
    Commented Aug 30, 2011 at 19:48
  • 1
    @Abby you're most welcome! (And I ate vegan chili with torillas for lunch)
    – Joubarc
    Commented Aug 30, 2011 at 19:53

I think most people who care about it already know how to typeset no-break spaces (on my Mac, it's alt+space). I have the following order of decreasing preference:

  1. correct use of no-break spaces around punctuation
  2. use of regular spaces
  3. English-style spacing (i.e., no space before a colon, for example)
  • I'm not sure that there's anything built-in in Windows for that...
    – Benjol
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 18:11
  • @Benjol use a Mac then (OK, uase alt-0160)
    – Joubarc
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 11:31

Regarding the 'French quotes', the question I just asked here may be of relevance. If it's OK to use doublequotes in general, their usage here should not be seen as 'incorrect'.

  • And we'd avoid having to use nbsp too, win all the way :)
    – Benjol
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 8:13

Personally, I use the enhanced French keyboard driver for Windows. With it, I can access missing symbols on French keyboard very easily. The most used (and the ones most relevant to this discussion) are:

  • AltGr+Q --> «
  • AltGr+S --> »
  • AltGr+< --> non-breaking space (normal, not narrow)

Accented capitals, ligatures and much more are also accessible with this driver.

It works only on Windows, though. And only for people who already have a French keyboard.

  • related and more complete (supporte l’écriture correcte des abréviations). Les utilisateur de système d’exploitations basé sur Xorg. ne seront pas dépaysé par ce clavier. I also support exotic plateforms, and I’d be happy to support things like PowerPC with some help. For non Windows® users, the format of Xorg keyboard configurations files is fairly simple. Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 1:15

I think it would be better to use a non-breaking space instead of narrow non-breaking space. Regarding wikipedia, we could use narrow or simple non-breaking space.

This page for example is ugly on Firefox 5 or Chrome 15 (Windows) ugly narrow non-breaking spaces For information, it's well displayed on Firefox 3.0.4 or Firefox 4.0 (Fedora).

  • 2
    See here, we are collecting such kind of information. Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 7:57
  • For Firefox I suggest updating and bugzilla.mozilla.org
    – Evpok
    Commented Oct 2, 2011 at 22:56
  • @Evpok the problem remains in windows title with Firefox 7.0, but it looks good for display.
    – chepseskaf
    Commented Oct 3, 2011 at 6:27
  • 1
    @chepseska: Same on nightly. Bug filed.
    – Evpok
    Commented Oct 3, 2011 at 17:32

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